Is your local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system ready? If the EMS vehicle responding to your 9-1-1 call has a 12-lead ECG machine on board, they can diagnose the most severe form of heart attack right on the scene. More EMS in Virginia will have this life-saving equipment because of funding You’re the Cure advocates helped nab during the Virginia General Assembly session this year.
An ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction is called a STEMI, and it means there is a total blockage of blood flow to the heart. Every second gained in getting the patient to the right care is critical. When EMS has the right equipment they can determine on the spot that there is a STEMI, and get the wheels rolling to the right facility, one equipped to handle STEMI treatment quickly. They can even call ahead to have the STEMI team on stand-by at the hospital.
That optimizes chances for the person on the stretcher, when shortening the time to treatment is truly a life and death matter. Although some EMS vehicles in Virginia already have 12-lead ECGs, not all do, and the funding secured will help fill the gaps. EMS providers in Virginia have worked hard to have the right measures in place for cardiovascular emergencies, but the equipment is expensive, and they can’t do it all alone.
In this tight fiscal environment, any funding allocation successfully secured in Virginia is cause for celebration. The Virginia General Assembly’s final budget included $400,000 for 12-lead ECGs for EMS vehicles.
Do you have a personal story about EMS and STEMI you’d like to share with us? Click HERE; we’d love to hear it.